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The new naming scheme is based on a numerical sequence that corresponds to major advancements in Wi-Fi. Devices that’ll support the upcoming 802.11ax standard will be labeled as Wi-Fi 6 compatible. Those that work with existing 802.11ac technology will be associated with Wi-Fi 5 and 802.11n compatible devices will get a Wi-Fi 4 designation.
Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance, said that for nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi standard. The new naming scheme will help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection.
Several major technology players including Netgear, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Intel, Marvell and Broadcom have publicly voiced support for Wi-Fi 6 and the introduction of more straightforward terminology. It's expected to be widely adopted by the Wi-Fi ecosystem.
The Wi-Fi Alliance said Wi-Fi 6 certification is coming in 2019. The new standard will operate in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums and is expected to achieve a 4x increase in user throughput thanks to improved efficiency.